I am working with a web designer to create an educational web site, and while he was coding it he mentioned that he wanted to put his name on the homepage.

I gave him the architecture of the site, the art, and I am also developing all the educational material that will be presented on the site. I mentioned that it would have a global reach and that I would prefer not to commercialize on the site besides what I am calling "the sponsors" and he seemed a little disappointed because he wanted to use my idea to promote his business.

I have already given him 10% of the revenue. I asked him to consider if he wanted to continue to work given the condition and he agreed. Was I out of line? Was he?

  • This is a pretty fickle thing amongst designers/developers in particular who want to have their name on things they have created to get a bigger reach for potential clients. The last agency I worked for had their logo in the footer of every site.
    – Amelia
    Nov 21 '13 at 6:42

It's your business and your rules. We all would like to have our name imprinted into all projects we did, but that is impossible. If I only recall all the large projects I did and my name is not seen there. The only proof I have is their employee who hired me and whom I put as a reference. If he ever decides not to support me any more, I have no proof I did those project. But this is a freelancer reality.

Now back on topic. You contractor's wishes are one thing, you business plan is other. If you think that author's name should not be visible, then it's must be. And your contractor has to accept that.

What you can do as a sign of a good client is to allow him to present your work in his portfolio and to list you as a reference person. If you think this is nothing, then you should know that on multiple occasions I have been asked not to publicize some of my works since I was hired by the agency and the real client was not aware of me.

I think other freelancers will support this statement.

On the other hand, there are indeed some high-profile agencies and contractors (like @Hiroto mentioned) who insist of having their name imprinted in the project or they will not work on the project. If this case is such, then you have no option. But somehow, I think you are hiring "one of us" not some large and expensive agency or individual.

  • I agree with you but it seemed out of line on his part because he is basically doing the html and the css of my idea. I even researched the light-boxes I would want him to use and he is tying the code. The reason I ask is because I did not want to commit an injustice but at the same time it felt like he was being opportunistic beyond his right. It's all good now and I thank the community for helping me with the etiquette.
    – SurvMach
    Nov 21 '13 at 17:54
  • Didn't get you here "If you think that author's name should not be visible, then it's must be. And your contractor has to accept that."
    – SurvMach
    Nov 21 '13 at 17:58
  • I understood that you are reluctant for his name to appear on the front page and I simply said that he (contractor) should accept and respect that. Since you are the client and it's contractors duty to either respect client wishes or decline working at all (like famous companies or individuals).
    – Peter MV
    Nov 21 '13 at 18:55
  • Also "commit injustice" is a very broad thing. Things which myself or 10 other freelancers find appropriate, may also hurt feelings of another 10 or 100 freelancers. So this is a gray area and the only way is to talk to your freelancer to see if it's OK with him. If he's a beginner in this work, he may ask to put his name on the front page. You can either respect his wishes or let him know that it's equally valid if he puts this project into his portfolio and your name as his reference. The later is even more important with clients of expensive projects.
    – Peter MV
    Nov 21 '13 at 18:58

It’s your call. If you didn’t agree upon including credits beforehand, you don’t have to. But …

It’s fair to give credits to the web designer. It usually consists of three parts:

  • name of the web designer resp. the business
  • link back to the web designer’s website (possibly with rel-nofollow)
  • a note what was done by the web designer (e.g., in your case probably: "technical implementation (HTML, CSS)")

But the home page is the most precious page of a website. I’d only give credits on the home page in rare cases, e.g., for people that made enormous contributions, or for people that worked as volunteers.

The usual place for crediting the web designer would be an about or contact page.

You may offer this as a compromise.

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